Sunday, January 23, 2005

Working late?

At places where I have worked, some employees are frequently rewarded for working late. It even appears as a quote in PowerPoint presentations as a compliment, "works late". I've always thought that if you cannot get your work done in your normal time, there must be something fundamentally inefficient about the way you are working. It's mildly annoying when others, who seem to have plenty of time during the day for playing foosball, are thought of as being great because they then have to stay after their shift to finish work. I myself try to compress everything during the day to get as much done as possible, just so I can go home on time and enjoy life. I happen to think that makes me the more productive employee. Also there is the minor point that if you are working late, you cannot possibly be getting feedback or talking to other employees - less communication does not make a strong company. The absolute worst place I ever worked had a manager that would come in late, then stay late and get annoyed if a single employee left work at the normal hour.

Management prof Sandy Kristin Piderit links to an article at FastCompany about a company where less emphasis is placed on the culture of wanting a corner office, and more on working in a group, or as they call them, "pods". Although poorly suited to jobs where you have to be on the phone much of the day, it's intriguing.

As far as working and writing at home goes, stage one of making my home office more workable is complete. The home inspector who looked at the house we bought is taking the pool table in my office off our hands. I'm not a pool afficianado, and it will goad me to getting rid of all the computer spare parts I've been thinking of tinkering. If I spend less time worrying over where I will put the half-dead motherboards up here, I can get done faster and be out by closing time, which is 11 PM. After that, I start to annoy my spouse since my office chair is right over the bed.

Update: 2/4/2005: fixed the permalink with the help of the Prof in comments - thanks!

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